Some of the Greatest Fictional Books Featured in Parks & Recreation

Posted by Jamie Canaves

Leslie Knope is perfect. She’s smart, passionate, intensely loyal, a binder-making aficionado, caring, resourceful, honest, a gift-giving master, and driven to make Pawnee the best place to live for its residents. If Amy Poehler is even a tenth of her character—minus the Jerry/Terry/Larry/Garry bullying—I want to be her friend so we can eat waffles while discussing her favorite books.

While Parks & Recreation may have wrapped up its final season, I'm busy re-watching the older episodes. And as any fan of the show will tell you, Leslie Knope and her colleagues love their books, no matter how fake (well, except for one, kinda) they might be. Let's take a look at some of the titles that have appeared over the course of the show's run. 

So let’s start with two books written by Leslie. One is about a waffle so it’s obviously amazing. Possibly delicious. 

Parks and Recreations s4e21 “Bus Tour” 

Leslie wrote and published Groffle, The Awful Waffle. I just need to know if the book comes with a plate of waffles, bacon, and a syrup river or if I need to supply my own? Oh, and does it come with a bib because as I’m sure Andy will agree, syrup has a mind of it’s own and that mind likes to drip on your clothes.

Parks and Recreations s4e3 “Born & Raised”

"I wrote a book. The first historical guide to Pawnee. I wrote it as a reference for myself, but then, my campaign advisors said we should make it a big, wide release. So we had people contribute, we added pictures, and we removed a lot of my poems and emotional ramblings and pictures of unicorns, and here it is!” Even Ron is willing to read it, "Usually, I only read nautical novels and my own personal manifestos, but I'm proud to make this exception.” Now that’s an endorsement!

A made up book for the show… that you can actually buy Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America

Parks and Recreations s4e3 “Born & Raised”

Desperate for her book to get a Joan Callamezzo’s book club sticker (sorry, Oprah) Leslie reveals a previous selection, The Time Travelers Optometrist. She claims it’s “unreadable” but I don’t know, it sounds a bit like Encino Man meets King Lear if you swap truth-blindness for love-blindness. Okay, I’m reaching but if a book sounds truly terrible it makes me curious enough to kinda want to read it.

Parks and Recreations s6e7 “Fluoride”

Chris Traeger reveals some hilarious parenting books in Season 6. Are You Gonna Crawl My Way, I’d Like to Solve the Puzzle of Parenting, and Rad Dads.

Parks and Recreations s7e2 “Ron and Jammy”

Leslie would never add Joan’s book to her book club. But April would. She loves train-wreck Joan so much she hopes she’s her real mom. If it has a lot of chandelier-swinging-washing-machine-riding dating stories I’m with April and would like a copy please. 

Parks and Recreations s7e5 “Gryzzlbox”

Two words: Joe. Biden.


Parks and Recreations s5e14 “Leslie and Ben”

BONUS PICK: Step aside Leslie-written books and anything by Joe Biden. This might not be readable, but this dress Ann Perkins made has to get an honorable mention.

What were some of your favorite bookish moments in Parks & Rec? Share them in the comments!